Reading about Boston yesterday made me want to be there so badly--despite the rain, the wind, the hills, etc. For an average runner with no chance of ever winning a big race, going to the Olympics, or otherwise distinguishing herself, BQing is a way to prove that in fact I'm not just an average runner. It separates the men from the boys, the runners from the joggers, and the serious marathoners from the pack. There's much to be said for the camaraderie and relaxed atmosphere of the pack, but I have a competitive streak that means I'll never be satisfied with that. I've wanted to run marathons ever since I started running, and for almost as long, I've wanted to qualify for Boston.
I need an 8:27 pace to qualify (3:40:59). Right now I can hold an 8:30 pace or thereabouts for 15K-10 miles. Obviously I have a long way to go, but at the same time I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility. If I plug 3:40:59 in the the McMillan Calculator, I get times that I know for a fact I can hit: 22:40 for 5K, 47:05 for 10K, etc. The quandary I'm in is whether or not to make Boston 2008 my goal. Is that too lofty? Of course, much will depend on how things go next month at Bayshore. I think I probably need to master the 10-miler, the 15K, and the half marathon (as in, attain the equivalent times I need) before I can realistically hope to qualify for Boston. This much I do know: even if not next year, Boston is a hard and fast goal, one that I will not give up until I can cross a finish line with one arm pumping and saying, "I'm going to Boston, baby!"
A commenter asked how I like my current shoes, and I want everyone who might happen to read this to know that I LOVE THEM. I have definitely found my replacement for the Saucony Jazz, which was my former favorite (it was discontinued). I hope the Trigons stick around for a while! In fact, I will probably be purchasing another pair kind of soon--I already have over 200 miles on the current pair, and my Asics are pretty much shot! They seem to stand up to higher mileage better than the shoes I've had recently.
Well, your sidebar half-marathon PR pace certainly suggests you are in the ballpark for a future BQ. For you, based on your desire and current conditioning level, it would seem to be a matter of "when" not "if". Why not set the goal for Boston 2008? And if you miss it (which you won't), then set it again for 2009? Get on with it. Why put it off? I like the Les Brown quote: "Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." Go for it.
Setting high goals is a good thing and a bad thing. If you hit the goal then it is awesome, but if you miss it then I guess you need to prepare yourself for that also. In regards to qualifying for Boston I look at it this way... the older that I get the better chance I have of qualifiying. As long as my marathon times improve then soon enough I will be able to qualify. Even if it is 10 year from now I can stil say that I ran the Boston Marathon. Good luck!
Your goal of Boston '08 is not lofty, Mir. If anyone can do this, you can! You are training well, you are running very good races and you have a year in which to improve. Aim for a strong fall marathon and Boston '08 is yours! Use whatever tools you can to make your goal happen. Get a good support system going. You will not regret a thing! Go Mir, Go!
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